the north face product technology

Tested in labs. proven on expeditions. trusted by athletes.

It begins with our world-class athletes. Their suggestions, recommendations and new equipment ideas provide the inspiration and challenges that drive the research and development of advanced materials, innovative design and construction. The most crucial step involves testing both in our laboratories and with our athletes on expeditions around the world.

Our Research, Design & Development Process

The most crucial step involves testing both in our laboratories and with our athletes on expeditions around the world. Our athletes often recommend an innovation that’s outside the bounds of existing technology. The North Face® Research, Design and Development team accepts their challenges and turns to the laboratory for new fabrics and components. Our teams of designers and fabric technicians must turn those revolutionary raw materials into gear that maximizes an athlete’s ability to survive and succeed in the most severe weather conditions.

STEP 1: Research & Design in Conjunction With World-Class Athletes

Athletes who constantly pursue their own limits help us push the limits of apparel and equipment design and technology. The North Face® Athlete Team gives us constant feedback on the clothing and equipment they depend on for success and survival in their adventures. We hear from our athletes through gear evaluations and regular athlete input sessions.

STEP 2: Advance Material Research & Development

We partner with the world’s most innovative leading materials engineers to create the technically advanced fabrics needed to develop clothing and equipment that meet our high standards. For example, The North Face®, in conjunction with W.L. Gore, created the concept and helped to launch PacLite™ the most compressible, lightest weight GORE-TEX® shell fabric available - weighing only 3.2 ounces per yard. By adhering this new GORE-TEX® laminate to our proprietary, extremely lightweight nylon substrate, we succeeded in creating a shell material perfectly suited for the extreme lightweight requirements demanded in high-altitude expeditions.

STEP 3: Innovative Design & Construction

We save the most critical step in our product development process for last. In addition to subjecting our products to a tortuous battery of laboratory tests, we send our apparel and equipment on extended athlete expeditions to learn how new products perform under the true test of the great outdoors. After receiving feedback, we refine each product until it receives approval from our world-class athlete team.

STEP 4: Laboratory Tested & Expedition Proven

We save the most critical step in our product development process for last. In addition to subjecting our products to a tortuous battery of laboratory tests, we send our apparel and equipment on extended athlete expeditions to learn how new products perform under the true test of the great outdoors. After receiving feedback, we refine each product until it receives approval from our world-class athlete team.